The Inside Dirt on the Packers Restricted Free Agents
The Green Bay Packers have submitted tenders to nine restricted free agents. The team hasn’t announced at what level they’ve tendered them, but some information has surfaced in the past 24 hours.
Here’s a summary.
Nick Collins – The Packers starting free safety received the highest possible tender, which is a 10 percent increase on his salary from last season. Collins’ offer is for $3.35 million and the Packers would receive first and third round picks if another team signed Collins to an offer sheet and the Packers chose not to match. The tender makes Collins untouchable.
Tramon Williams – Williams, who finished the 2009 season as a starting cornerback, received a first round and third round tender for $3.043 million. It’s a sign the Packers really value Williams and also a sign that no one is going to touch Williams in free agency.
Atari Bigby – The strong safety, who was originally an undrafted free agent, received the second round tender at $1.759 million. The Packers would receive a second round pick if Bigby signs elsewhere and the Packers do not match, a scenario that’s unlikely to play out.
Johnny Jolly – Jolly received the first round tender at $2.521 million. Jolly, who had a breakout season at defensive end, got a higher tender than anyone probably predicted because his legal troubles and the uncertainty surrounding them make him a risk. However, the Packers obviously believe those things will play out favorably and see Jolly as a key member of their defense.
Daryn Colledge – The Packers left guard, originally a second round pick, received a second round tender at $1.759 million. The Packers would receive a second round pick if Colledge signed elsewhere and they chose not to match, a scenario that Colledge would like to engineer. Colledge is angry that he didn’t get a first round tender, despite having his worse season as a pro in 2009. Colledge is also sick of changing positions, something the Packers have done consistently with their offensive linemen.
“If it’s a second round, maybe I have a chance to move,” Colledge said on KTIK. “Maybe I could be coming to a city near you.”
Jason Spitz – Spitz, who has played both guard and center, received the second round tender at $1.759 million. Spitz was originally a third round pick, so the Packers obviously value his services and want him back, but Spitz will clearly test the market.
“While Jason loves Green Bay, he fully intends to explore the market,” his agent, Brian Ayrault said. “You may not see many teams giving up a second for many players, but you never know.
Will Blackmon – Blackmon, who has served as the Packers primary return man when healthy, received the lowest tender of $1.176 million, meaning the Packers compensation if they let him sign elsewhere would be a pick in the round he was originally drafted in – in this case, the fourth. It’s unlikely there will be competition for Blackmon, who is returning from a major knee injury.
John Kuhn – Kuhn, who is one of three fullbacks the Packers carried in 2009, also received the lowest tender of $1.176 million. However, Kuhn was undrafted free agent, so the Packers would get no compensation if they chose not to match an offer for him. There probably will be no rush to resign Kuhn, with Korey Hall and Quinn Johnson on the roster.
Spencer Havner – Havner, who developed as a tight end in 2009, is an exclusive rights free agent, meaning the Packers have the exclusive negotiating rights to him after tendering him.
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Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.